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America, God and Covenant - How the NAR Continues to Corrupt the Church

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"the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! -- Psalm 33: 12b (ESV)

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As the Fourth of July passes this year we again saw a plethora of NAR inspired America worshipping articles published to assure all of the seven mountain heretics that they are right. The Bible however, remains in complete opposition to such a notion. The Bible says we are pilgrims and sojourners in this land and that our citizenship is in heaven, not on this earth. A shining city on a hill is shining because it is different and stands out from the carnality of this world. Now, is America the best attempt in human history at government? Yes. Should we count ourselves lucky to have been born in or immigrated to a land where freedoms exist beyond what any other country allows? Yes. That does not however, in any definition possible, make America righteous. Jesus does not need our help in affecting culture through any other means than the Gospel because only the Gospel can save someone from this culture. The above linked article is from Pastor Ben Godwin and made its rounds on Charisma News this week. Let us reason together beloved once more and see what God truly has to say regarding where our allegiance should lay.

'Happy 242nd Birthday America! You look good for your age. I love our great country and was raised in a patriotic home. God has allowed and aided America's rise to unrivaled greatness in world history. Benjamin Franklin asked the Continental Congress, "If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?" Someone observed that of all the major civilizations in human history, they all collapsed when they reached the moral state that America is currently in. Thomas Jefferson aptly wrote, "I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever." I am not a doom-and-gloom preacher, but I do believe that many of our recent calamities like national debt, prolonged wars, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, natural disasters, anarchy and social upheaval are indicators of God lifting His favor. Abraham Lincoln said, "It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God ... and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proved by all history, that those nations only are blest whose God is the Lord." He was referring to Psalm 33:12a, which states, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." What was true of Israel in Bible times is also true of America now--as long as we stay in covenant with God, we will we remain strong and free. Ronald Reagan warned, "If we ever forget that we are 'One Nation Under God,' then we will be a nation gone under."' -- Ben Godwin

Let us start with the obvious flaws in this thinking. Yes it is true that a sovereign God essentially allows everything that happens on earth to occur but that does not mean divine providence or even His approval. The Greek empire lasted 350 years and the Romans 500 and we would not be so foolish as to think they were orchestrated by divine providence. Both worshipped multiple pagan gods. It is interesting that Godwin chooses the first quote Jefferson here. Thomas Jefferson created his own bible by removing all references to the deity of Jesus Christ, His miracles, or even the virgin birth. Most scholars view the religion of Lincoln as tortured. Moving in and out of believing in the divinity of Jesus. The more egregious thing here is the abuse of Psalm 33. Whenever I see someone quote half a verse I immediately am curious what they left out. The key half verse today is the conclusion of Psalm 33:12. By quoting the first half you give the impression that a nation can choose to belong to God. Except that is not true when you read the entire verse. God is the one who chooses, not us. He chose the nation of Israel, to whom this verse is actually written to. So no Ben, what was true for Israel is most certainly NOT true for America unless God chooses America. I think Ben realized the precarious position he staking out here so he actually pretends that America is in covenant with God! Beloved, nothing is further from the truth. We never have been in covenant with God. His New Covenant is with His church and that church reaches far beyond the narcissistic shores of America. It is only fitting that he quotes one nation under God, which was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until the 1950's during the communist scare. It is not part of some hallowed past for this country. It was a political ploy used by congress. Godwin continues:

'On July 30, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a resolution adopting "In God We Trust" as our national motto and requiring it to be placed on all U.S. currency. He observed, "In these days when imperialistic and materialistic communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper to remind all of us of this self-evident truth that as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail." Deuteronomy 28 lists several indicators of a blessed nation, including divine protection, economic prosperity, rain on crops, victory in battle, lending to other nations instead of borrowing and being the head and not the tail. By the providence of God, we have become the greatest nation on the face of the earth. America, the lone remaining superpower, is one of the few countries where there is a waiting list to get in instead of out. But prosperity has lulled us to sleep, and we have forgotten the source of our blessings. I call it "America's Amnesia." As our country becomes more secularized, many bite the hand that feeds them, spurn His moral laws and spit in the face of the one whose benefits they enjoy. As Benjamin Franklin asked the Continental Congress, "Have we forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?"' -- Ben Godwin

This mugging of Deuteronomy 28 is shameful for a pastor. This chapter is the summation of the law for Israel, not a prescriptive text of future nations that pretend to be in covenant with God. The very first verse plainly states that only if Israel adheres to all 613 Mosaic laws will these blessings even apply! Let us not lose sight that Israel failed miserably to do this! That is why we needed a Savior! Is Ben Godwin actually suggesting that at some point in American history we were perfectly adhering to the 613 Mosaic laws? The arrogance and ignorance is staggering. In God we trust was only added to currency during the same red scare previously mentioned. It does not harken back to some more solemn historical era that we have long since forgotten.

"On the National Day of Prayer, April 30, 1863, Abraham Lincoln reminded Americans of our true source of blessing. "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness." Consider five main reasons why God keeps blessing America:" - Ben Godwin

Beloved, flowery address aside, this was a speech on the first national day of prayer. Let us not lose sight of the fact that it was at the height of the Civil War. In that very same war half of the citizenry of this country used the bible to defend slavery. One speech and a call for national conciliation, which would not happen for two more years, does not magically transform that country into being in covenant with God Almighty. It just doesn't work like that. Let us examine the five reasons Godwin thinks God keeps blessing America

"1. The faith of our forefathers:God continued blessing Israel for Abraham's and David's sake centuries after their deaths. Modern Americans are the beneficiaries of the covenant our forefathers had with God as they established this Christian nation. Most of our Founding Fathers acknowledged God and sought His guidance in forming this country on Biblical principles. Although we have strayed far from those ideals, the foundation of this country was built upon the rock-solid foundation of Judeo-Christian ethics. We have drifted from our spiritual heritage, but a strong spiritual root system is still a vital part of our national identity. Secularists and atheists are trying to deny and rewrite history, but America's Christian roots remain intact." -- Ben Godwin

Arrgghh! Abraham and David were in covenant with God! We are not! Our forefathers had no such covenant that Godwin speaks to. Most were deists who believed in a God but not necessarily THE God. The attempts to Christianize the forefathers is folly. Here is an excerpt from a letter to John Adams from Jefferson:

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...." -- Thomas Jefferson

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a theocratic nation. The reality is the forefathers set up the opposite of a theocratic nation where the power of the leaders stemmed from the will of the people, not God.

'2. Missions:The Great Commission is near and dear to the heart of God. Missionary to Africa, David Livingston, said, "God only had one Son and He made that Son a missionary." Some of Jesus' last words were, "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Any person or nation that sends and supports missionaries will have God's blessing. America has sent more missionaries to foreign fields than any other nation. Now, sadly, we are rapidly becoming the mission field, because we've forsaken God. As one author noted, "Every person in the world is either a missionary or a mission field." Evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. So, may we all adopt the attitude of John Wesley, who said, "All the world is my parish [church]."' -- Ben Godwin

The world is only our parish when we preach the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sadly, no country has more contaminated the word with false doctrine than the United States. Other countries are begging us to stop sending missionaries because of the sin, depravity and unbiblical nature of their beliefs. Five of the top richest pastors in the world are from Africa, which is the most impoverished. We brought them the prosperity gospel! Think about that for a second. Jesus once rebuked the Pharisees for traveling the world to make a single proselyte and when having done so making them twice the son of hell. Ouch. With the church so compromised there is no reason to believe God is blessing America as a result of it.

"3. Humanitarianism:As the breadbasket of the world, America responds to the cries for help when there is an earthquake, tsunami, war, refugee crisis or genocide. Who typically sends the most money, food, medicine and volunteers when there is an international disaster? We do. Proverbs 19:17 states, "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay what he has given." The best way to be blessed is to be a blessing to others. We are all called to be channels of God's blessings not merely containers who hoard it." -- Ben Godwin

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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